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A few years ago, an ex boyfriend of mine ripped his leather jacket on our gate. He never wore the jacket again, and it was left in the bottom of a wardrobe. I recently rediscovered this jacket and decided to upcycle it, as it was a pretty unfashionable shape so not really worth fixing. This DIY leather bookmark is an easy project to make when starting to repurpose old leather.
Plus – see how I even use the trimmings to make an extra surprise project at the end!
DIY Leather Bookmark – From An Upcycled Old Leather Jacket
If you ever visit thrift shops, you will find a massive array of old unfashionable leather jackets. Rather than let this expensive material go to waste or languish in landfill, why not give it a new lease of life by turning it into something new?
If the leather is very stiff, it may be that you cannot sew it with a domestic sewing machine and may need more traditional leather tools such as punches and specialised needles. But this old leather jacket of my ex’s was really lovely soft leather, perfect for sewing at home.
Leather bookmarks are a great way to use up every last piece, as they can be made from small fabric scraps. These page keepers are a lovely gift idea, maybe for a teacher, mum or dad who likes to read.
How did I make my bookmark? Read on…
You Will Need
- Some pieces of leather – mine were from an old soft leather jacket that had a hole in it – and were about 8.5 inches by 2 inches (22 x 5.5cm)
- Some iron on interfacing if the leather is very soft
- Topstitching thread
- Scissors, sewing clips and a sewing machine – or good sharp hand sewing needle.
Cut 2 pieces of leather 8.5 x 2 inches – interface one of them if the leather is very soft. Place these two pieces WRONG sides together.
Thread your sewing machine with the topstitching thread and insert a sharp new leather sewing needle. I like to use a contrasting top thread colour.
Clipping the leather instead of pinning, sew a 1/4 inch (5mm) row of stitches around the edge of the leather pieces. If you wish, leave an inch and a half free at one end of your rectangle of stitching.
Then, once you have finished stitching, trim down your seam allowance. This gives the edges more strength. Fringe the free ends of leather by cutting even strips up to the stitching line but not into it.
You are left with a lovely bookmark. Perfect for gifts or even good enough to sell!
P.S. No Leather Wasted
As an aside, I used the seam allowance trimmings to make a woven bracelet – so virtually nothing was wasted. I knotted the free ends of the thin trimmings and sewed this to one fastening.
Then plaited the trimmings and sewed the finishing end to the other coupling. A leather bracelet made from an upcycled leather jacket!
Do you like this idea? Do you have any old leather jackets that you can repurpose? I love to see your makes. Do comment below with what you are currently making. Why not find me on my social media and tag me in your makes?
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And please do pin this post for later.